As emerging economies like China, India, Brazil and South Africa move their people into the ranks of the global middle class, their auto fleets will swell by hundreds of millions of cars. China alone is expected to put 140 million cars on the road by the year 2020. As we've said before, the kind of cars, houses, appliances and infrastructure people build in places like China and India will have a profound effect of the future of the planet.
This business week story, Hybrids in the Third World?, is a good introduction to some of the issues at stake:
Lee Schipper, Director of Research for EMBARQ, the World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport, says Chinese and Indian efforts are resulting in dramatically reduced emissions, approaching standards of European and U.S. cars. But environmental concerns still loom. "The bad news is cities in China and India will be crawling with cars, but at least they will be good cars," he says. That is, cars with more modern carburetors, fuel-injection, and catalytic converters.
One would imagine that it would be preferable for them not to have carburetors at all, no?